The Flaming Vegan

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Ugh! It's That Time of Year Again: Thanksgiving
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Ugh! It's That Time of Year Again: Thanksgiving

I usually try to keep my posts here pretty good-natured, but there are few things in this world that make me quite as angry as Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is, at least in my opinion, the worst holiday ever created. It claims to be about kindness and sharing and gratitude when, in fact, it’s all about carnage and deceit. Let’s ignore (for the moment) the millions of turkeys who are killed every year for this celebration of “thankfulness” and focus on the origins of the holiday.

The pilgrims come to American seeking freedom. They meet the Native Americans who help them and give them food. They are so “thankful” that a few years later they kill off nearly all of the Native Americans and take all of their land for themselves. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cut to today, where it is no more about being thankful than it was then. Now instead of killing other people, we just kill millions upon millions of turkeys. We sit around a table, with people we normally choose not to spend time with the rest of the year, and marvel at how beautiful the roasted and stuffed corpse in the center of the table is.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of everything that is wrong with our society. It is a day of gluttony, greed and murder. I find everything about it completely appalling. If there is one thing that bothers me more than anything though, it is people who call it “turkey day.” I am not someone who is easily offended. In fact you could say just about anything about me and I wouldn’t care. You could call me any name you can come up with. When people tell me to “have a happy turkey day” though, it takes all of my willpower not to knock all of their teeth out. As if what happens to turkeys on this day isn’t horrifying enough, we have to make a joke about it. I think the only way this holiday could get any more offensive is if people started referring to it as “Native American day.”

So to all of you out there having a vegan feast today and everyone, like me, who is just trying to ignore the day altogether, I want to thank you for doing your part to end the cruel and bloody tradition that we have come to know as “Thanksgiving.” If there is one thing I am thankful for today, it is all of you.



*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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  1. Veganara
    Voted. Another great blog Whitney, and as usual I agree !50% with all your sentiments! We don't have Thanksgiving over here, but I always feel the same way about Xmas. These festivals are so hypocritical, aren't they? I mean, how can we "celebrate" life by taking life??! On a more cheerful note, you might like my latest recipe for Lotus Root Chips, please check it out! :-)
    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you Maggie! I completely agree about Xmas. None of the holiday that we celebrate are about what they claim to be about, and I have a very hard time celebrating something I don't believe in. I really don't understand why every holiday has to be built around a dead animal. Your chips sound amazing, voted.
  2. Luella Berg
    Luella Berg
    Voted. I can relate to how you feel. I try to make the holiday about thankfulness and spending quality time with good friends and family, but the origins of the holiday and the way most people celebrate it are totally depressing. Luckily, my partner has an annual Vegetarian Thanksgiving party, and there are always lots of vegan options. I'm really glad I don't have to miss out on pumpkin pie this year. For me, celebrating this holiday means redefining it to include new traditions, without losing sight of the carnage and doublespeak it's based on.
    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you so much Luella! I think your Thanksgiving celebration sounds wonderful :) I hope you all had a great time!
  3. Mark T
    It should be about family and friends and sharing. And renewing/mending ties with those that we would usually not spend time with. This is my first vegan Thanksgiving. It has always in the past been ALL about the turkeys for me. But not this year and never again. I am going to make a point that each of our 16 guests understands that this holiday is a little backwards, IMO, the way most people celebrate it. Turkeys are gentle, regal creatures. We have monstricized them and completely gone off the rail. It is, afterall, a dead animal, stuffed in a plastic bag, with his or her organs in another little bag, oh and to top it all off, a little red thermometer implanted in this back. We need an awakening.
    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      That's great that you had your first vegan Thanksgiving! I hope it went well. I'm very glad you took the opportunity to enlighten your guests about the problems with the holiday. I agree completely! Turkeys are wonderful creatures :) During my internships at Farm Sanctuary, I got to know several of them really well and they were so amazing.
  4. Anita Vegana
    This is true. I have to admit that I've come to despise Thanksgiving as well, but for other reasons - such as my mother's constant nagging about me not accepting to eat what she puts on the table, which is not turkey (she's never been a fan of cooking them because they take too long), but a duck and a hare aren't that much better, either. Ok, they're wild, so the environmental impact is minimized and they didn't suffer all their lives. But they're still corpses. My new article is also an angry rant, but I aimed it at the repeated controversies of a vegan organisation that I just wish would use a different tactic to start getting people to become vegan: Is PETA Going Too Far? Come read it and vote it you liked it. Thank you.
    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      My family has finally gotten to the point where they accept my beliefs and my rules about what I will and will not eat. But I had that same problem for a long time, and it was incredibly frustrating. I hope the day wasn't too bad for you. I will check out your article :)
  5. SnakeWitch
    Rant all you want, we agree with you - especially on this one! Don't be afraid to speak to people. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving here either. Seems Spaniards didn't do the whole "welcome-you-today-kill-you-tomorrow" thing to the natives... oh wait. Yes, they did, just not on one specific day. And they still do it. And are very vocal about those "coloured folks" (both blacks and natives). I get pretty mean sometimes here... Well, I voted, as usual. My new piece is UN Tells Us to Work For Environmental Justice. Do it justice please!
    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you very much! I know what you mean. It seems that, no matter where you live, there are always terrible things from the past that people refuse to completely let go of. I really enjoyed your article. I have a new respect for the UN now. Voted and commented.
  6. beachgurl
    Really liked your article! I thought I was a minority in my feeling about this holiday. Can you blog about your pigs? I would love to hear their story!
    1. Whitney Metz
      Whitney Metz
      Thank you :) You are definitely not alone. I'm sorry it took me so long to respond, I'm a bit behind on emails/comments/etc. I haven't written for The Flaming Vegan for a while, though I would like to do more posts here eventually. When I do, I will be sure to write about Riley and Tuni. I have a daily blog at where I write about a little bit of everything. In case you're interested. Thank you for reading!


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